In a rare reversal, President Donald Trump said he decided to change the date of a campaign rally that was scheduled to take place on June 19th, or Juneteenth.
The rally, which is the first in-person Trump campaign rally to be held since the coronavirus lockdowns began, will be held on June 20 instead, Trump tweeted on Friday.
Juneteenth is a holiday in remembrance of the day when slavery effectively ended in the United States. Although President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation roughly two and a half years earlier, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that the slaves in Texas were freed.
For this reason, June 19th — or Juneteenth for short — has been celebrated.
It just so happens that President Trump was planning to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, scheduled for this day. This annoyed a lot of Trump critics, particularly in light of the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, for at least two reasons.
First, anti-Trump Democrats took issue with the rally location. Tulsa was the site of a race riot in 1921 when a mob of white people attacked black residents, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless in what is regarded as America’s worst instance of racial violence. “This isn’t just a wink to white supremacists—he’s throwing them a welcome home party,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said.
And, second, of course, critics took issue with Trump holding the rally on the Juneteenth holiday.
“Out of respect”
Rather than force the issue, President Trump has decided to do something about the latter complaint. On Twitter Friday, the president announced that he has changed the date of his Tulsa rally.
“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th – a big deal,” Trump wrote. “Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday. Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out…”
“…of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents,” the president continued. “I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests…”
The president finished off his message with a third tweet revealing that “we have already had ticket requests in excess of 200,000 people.”
That is quite a number of people for the president’s first rally since the coronavirus put a hold on such events. Let’s hope that it is a sign of things to come this November.